12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Images of revival and resurrection turn up repeatedly in Illusions, Spoken's first album in six years. The Arkansas-bred hardcore band has a lot to say about the sustaining power of Christian faith—but it also may be celebrating its own ability to survive after numerous label shifts and lineup changes. Founding member Matt Baird remains a mighty-lunged frontman capable of harrowing screams and soaring melodic vocals, avoiding overkill in favor of believably impassioned testimony. “Stand Alone,” “Through It All," and the title track are ferocious spiritual anthems filled with anguish and healing. Baird stands firm against the enemy in “Beneath the Surface” and fuses romantic love and spiritual passion in “Take Everything.” Pop-tinged tracks like “More Than You Know” ride buoyant rhythms while keeping their messages uncompromised. Whether the band is delivering an all-out rock assault (“Shadow over Me”), moving with a swaggering strut (“Don’t Go”), or ascending to deliver an heroic chorus hook (“Calm the Storm”), Spoken backs up its heaviness with sharp, supple musicianship.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Images of revival and resurrection turn up repeatedly in Illusions, Spoken's first album in six years. The Arkansas-bred hardcore band has a lot to say about the sustaining power of Christian faith—but it also may be celebrating its own ability to survive after numerous label shifts and lineup changes. Founding member Matt Baird remains a mighty-lunged frontman capable of harrowing screams and soaring melodic vocals, avoiding overkill in favor of believably impassioned testimony. “Stand Alone,” “Through It All," and the title track are ferocious spiritual anthems filled with anguish and healing. Baird stands firm against the enemy in “Beneath the Surface” and fuses romantic love and spiritual passion in “Take Everything.” Pop-tinged tracks like “More Than You Know” ride buoyant rhythms while keeping their messages uncompromised. Whether the band is delivering an all-out rock assault (“Shadow over Me”), moving with a swaggering strut (“Don’t Go”), or ascending to deliver an heroic chorus hook (“Calm the Storm”), Spoken backs up its heaviness with sharp, supple musicianship.

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2:39
2:52
3:36
4:00
3:37
3:03
3:40
3:43
4:26
3:43
3:37

About Spoken

Christian heavy rock band Spoken formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1996. Initially, the trio of friends -- Matt Baird on vocals, Scoop Roberts on guitar, and Isaiah Perez on drums -- had a nu-metal sound, which they debuted in 1997 on their first album, On Your Feet (Metro 1 Music). Second LP ...What Remains, was similar, but it wasn't until their third (and final) record for Metro 1, Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell, that they began to get much heavier. Metro 1 released a Greatest Hits collection in 2001 before the band signed with Tooth & Nail. They released three albums for the Christian label, each time evolving their style further: first with a screamo/pop-punk vibe (2003's A Moment of Imperfect Clarity) and then to melodic hard rock (2005's Last Chance to Breathe), until going full Linkin Park for 2007's self-titled release. After leaving Tooth & Nail, they re-released Echoes in 2008 and emerged from a short hiatus in 2013 for Illusion (E1 Music), their first album of new material in six years. A successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015 helped the band release their eighth album, Breathe Again, on Artery Records. In early 2017 the band dropped a pair of singles, "I Will Not Fade" and "Stronger" in anticipation of the release of their aptly named ninth full-length, IX, which arrived later that September. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

  • ORIGIN
    Nashville, TN
  • FORMED
    1997

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